Italy Injury Claim Time Limit Guide – Limitation Period For A Personal Injury Claim In Italy? – How Long Do I Have To Claim Compensation?
Going abroad on holiday, especially to a beautiful country like Italy, is something to look forward to and to be able to bring back fond memories from. However, not everyone comes back with just fond memories, as some unlucky holidaymakers return with memories of suffering an injury or illness with some still being poorly on their return. Although accidents and illnesses are unfortunately a part of life and often occur with no-one to blame, sometimes, probably more often than realised, a lot of accidents and illnesses occur through negligence and with more care and attention, could be prevented.
If whilst staying in Italy you have been injured or become ill and it was someone else’s fault, you will most likely be eligible to make a personal injury claim providing you start it within the Italian personal injury claim time limit. Making an Italian holiday accident claim can be tricky process and this is where we come in. Legal Expert is a team of personal injury claims solicitors that can help you to build a strong claims case using our experience and expertise in the field to get you the compensation you deserve, just call us on 0800 073 8804 for help and guidance in making your claim.
Select a Section
- A guide to time limits for personal injury claims in Italy
- Time limits to make a personal injury claim in Italy
- What is an Italian holiday accident?
- How are Italian holiday accident claims in Italy handled?
- Liability for injuries in Italian law
- How are damages estimated under Italian law?
- I was injured on holiday in Italy, what can I claim compensation for?
- Personal injury calculator for Italian holiday accident claims
- No win no fee Italian holiday accident claims
- How our accident abroad solicitors can help you
- Contact A Travel Accident Solicitor
- Helpful contacts and resources
Italy is a beautiful country renowned for its vineyards, historic Roman buildings, canals and stunning coastline and lakes and has become one of the top places for British tourists to visit. Although Italy is considered a safe country to visit, having an accident or becoming ill is still a possibility. Sometimes when someone is injured or becomes ill, it is realised that actually their suffering could have been avoided if only more care was taken. In these circumstances where someone other than the injured party is to blame for the accident or illness, a claim for the accident on holiday in Italy can be made. However, making a personal injury claim isn’t always straightforward and so it helps to have some information to hand so that you can make an informed decision about pursuing your claim. Legal Expert have therefore developed this guide to give anyone considering claiming for compensation, some useful, helpful information so that they feel better prepared as how the process works and how best to go about it for the best chance of a successful result. The guide includes information such as what the holiday accident claim time limit is, how accident claims are handled, how damages are estimated, what you should do if you are injured or become ill whilst in Italy, what can be include in the claim, how much compensation you may receive and lots more.
Once you have read the guide, if there is anything you are still unsure about, or if you need further legal advice, please call Legal Expert and somebody there will be able to help you.
Starting a claim for compensation for a holiday accident in Italy as soon as possible is really important as time limits for personal injury claims in Italy apply. So you may be asking ‘how long do I have to make a claim for personal injury?’ Time limits in Italy vary depending on the nature of the claim and the circumstances involved.
In Italy, the personal injury claim time limits are as follows:
|Nature of Claim||Time limit|
|Package holiday claim – Injuries or illnesses that occurred whilst on a flight, in accommodation or on an excursion that was pre-booked through a UK travel agents as a package deal.||3 years may very|
|Non-package holiday claim – For injuries or illnesses sustained whilst on a privately booked holiday in Italy||Up to 6 years – time limits may vary|
|Italy road traffic accident||2 Years – time limits may vary|
|Injury or illness that has occurred on a privately booked flight to or from an Italian airport including:|
-Malpensa and Linate airports in Milan
-Leonardo De Vinci airport in Rome
-Verona-Villafranca ‘Valerio Catullo’ airport in Verona
-Naples-Capodichino ‘Ugo Niutta’ airport in Naples
-Marco Polo airprt in Venice
-Any other Italian airports that airplanes fly to and from international places
|2 years (time limits under the Montreal Convention).|
In order to prevent filing a claim too late, it is best to begin as soon as possible without delay. Speak to a legal team to check what is the statute of limitations on a personal injury case for your individual circumstances.
There are many types of accidents that could occur in Italy resulting in someone becoming injured. Providing it was someone else’s fault and it can be proven who was responsible, a personal injury claim can be made. Common types of accidents include:
- Road traffic accidents – Italian roads aren’t particularly the safest of roads in Europe due to drivers often speeding and driving aggressively, many roads being narrow and cobbled and also windy roads such as the Stelvio Pass in the Alps which is the 10th most dangerous strip in the world. Also rural areas vary in speed limit and mountain roads can have poor visibility due to fog. Large cities such as Rome and Naples can be extremely congested causing drivers to act dangerously in order to push through.
If you are the victim of a road traffic accident and become injured, you should try to follow the same steps as you would back in the UK. Obviously seek medical attention to have your injuries such as whiplash checked, report the accident to the police, take down the name, address, insurance details and make and model of vehicle of the other driver involved, get contact details of any witnesses and inform your insurance provider. If you are driving hired vehicle, you will need to inform the hire company. Also, contact your travel insurance provider as soon as possible and inform your holiday provider if on a package holiday.
- Hotel Accidents – Hotel accidents may include any of the following:
- Balcony fall
- Slips, trips and falls
- Swimming pool accidents
- Stair and lift accidents
- Food poisoning
- Stomach upsets due to lack of hygiene within the hotel
- Slip, trip and fall Accidents – These are the most common types of accidents and can happen anywhere due to a variety of different reasons. It may be because of badly, maintained floor coverings in the hotel, uneven flooring, wet floors, spillages, untidiness, obstacles in walkways and so on. It may be that you have tripped whilst embarking or disembarking a flight. Regardless of how the accident had occurred, if it was due to someone else’s neglect, you will have a right to claim compensation.
- Swimming Pool Accidents – These types of accidents are quite common. If the pool floor tiles or surrounding flooring is damaged or broken, you may cut your foot. There may a lack of sufficient supervision or presence of lifeguards around the pool. If the incorrect type of quantity of disinfectant is used in the pool water, this can result in bad tummy upsets due to contamination.
- Food Poisoning – Poor hygiene and under cooked foods are the worse culprits for food poisoning. Staff should be sufficiently trained in the correct hygiene practices. Kitchen and restaurant areas should be kept clean. Food needs to be stored in the correct manner for the type of food it is. Uncooked and cooked foods should be stored separately. Buffet food should be covered and kept at the correct temperature to prevent the growth of harmful bacteria. Expiry dates should be regularly checked.
- Skiing Accidents – Italy is well known for its ski resorts and many holidaymakers from the UK travel to Italy to ski every year. Before participating, you should check that your travel insurance protects this pursuit as it can be a dangerous sport and accidents are fairly common. Ski resorts should always regularly check and maintain any equipment, failure to do so resulting in somebody being injured can result in a lawsuit being filed against them for damages. Similarly, all instructors should have the expected qualifications and have the correct insurance. If you become injured due to faulty equipment or being poorly instructed, you could make a claim for compensation. It is the responsibility for the ski resorts to check that they are providing a safe environment, as best as they can when considering the type of sport, for all visitors, failure to do so is an act of negligence.
- Excursion or organised activity accidents – If your travel provider has organised an excursion or activity and you become injured, depending on what happened, you may be able to make a package holiday claim as they would be seen as overall liable. However, if you paid for an excursion or activity privately and became injured, the company you have booked with will be liable depending on the circumstances. Speak to Legal Expert for further advice on this.
Regardless of the type of accident or illness you have suffered in Italy, if it was someone else’s fault, you may be eligible to make a claim. To make sure you are within the time limits for personal injury in Italy, you should speak to a legal adviser such as Legal Expert and start your claim as soon as possible.
Similar to in the UK, according to Italian law, if you suffer a personal injury whilst in Italy that wasn’t your fault, you should be compensated by the party liable so that you are back to the position you would have been in ,should you not have been injured. This includes being compensated for both patrimonial and non-patrimonial damages. Patrimonial damages (special damages) relates to the financial losses and costs the injured party has suffered, whereas non-patrimonial (general damages) relates to the physical and psychological damage that has been done which includes the pain and suffering felt, mental anguish, any disabilities arising from the injury and long term prognosis.
With any compensation claims case, liability needs to be proven before a case can conclude successfully. Without proving liability, it is unlikely that the claimant would win their case.
Once the writ of summons have been issued notifying the defendant that they’re being sued, they have to send in a statement of defence at least 20 days before the court hearing date. If they fail to do so, the court hearing will continue anyway.
Both parties, claimant and defendant, are required to send in relevant facts of evidence within set time periods set by the judge. They then will have a second hearing date set where either the judge will gather the evidence submitted, or will instruct each party to submit their closing argument. Depending on the nature of the claim, a court hearing may be required numerous times. The judge will make a decision after considering all the facts, who is liable for the injury and so will conclude the personal injury claim accordingly, however, in Italian law, there is no time limit for passing judgement although this generally will occur within six months.
Without relevant evidence proving your injury was caused by someone else, it would be near impossible to win compensation for an accident on holiday in Italy, and so we recommend acting as soon as possible and speaking with an experienced legal firm to make sure that you are able to collect all of the possible evidence or receive help in doing so.
As mentioned earlier, there are two parts that make up the overall settlement amount in a compensation claims case. These are patrimonial (special damages) and non-patrimonial (general damages) damages. Both types of damages will be taken into account before an award amount is decided. The following applies:
- Patrimonial Damages – These are the financial losses and are split into two sections. One section is for consequential damage. This is the financial loss caused immediately at the time of the accident caused directly by the accident. For example, if you were injured in a road accident, it would cover the costs of the damage to your car. Also it relates to any medical expenses of treatment. Consequential damage has to be proven which requires evidence such as receipts in order to be included in the compensation award. The other section of patrimonial damages is monetary loss. This represents any loss of profits or loss of wages that are directly due to being injured. Losses that will occur in the future will also be included. However, once again, the amount of the monetary losses needs to be assessed and proven otherwise they will be deemed as being non-refundable.
- Non-Patrimonial Damages – These represent the physical and mental aspects of the actual injury sustained. Again, there are two sections to this category, biological damage and moral damage. Biological damage related to temporary and permanent disability. Temprorary disability is calculated by recording the number of days it takes for the victim to get back to normal and takes into account any treatments such as physiotherapy or corrective surgery they may have needed. Temporary disability may be deemed as total if no activities can be undertaken, or limited if only some activities can be undertaken. Permanent disability however, is where the victim has reduced physical or mental health that is incurable and is measured as a percentage. A forensic expert in medical science is required to assess the level of the personal injury. The higher the percentage of injury, the higher the compensation amount. The compensation amount does decrease however in relation to the age of the claimant. Moral damage is a reflection of the claimant’s mental well-being, and level of distress and anxiety they may be suffering with as a result of the injury. The percentage of moral damage relates to the percentage of biological damage, up to 20% according to article 139 of Legislative Decree of 7th September 2005 (Code of Insurances).
As already mentioned above, there are different factors that make up the overall and final settlement award amount and so you should try to include all of these aspects to ensure you receive the maximum amount possible should you win your case:
- General Damages – These will be for the actual physical harm and mental anguish you have suffered. Seeing a medical professional and having a medical report is paramount in winning a compensation claims case and receiving the appropriate amount of compensation as not only does it provide you with evidential proof, but also, given that the compensation amount depends heavily on the severity of the injury, a medical diagnosis and report will help with the decision as to how much compensation you should receive. Any on-going problems and long term effects will be considered, as will the effects the injury has had on your quality of life and well-being.
- Medical Expenses (Special Damages) – Keep receipts of any costs you have incurred for any medical treatment in direct relation to the injury or illness you have sustained. This will include costs of seeing a medical professional in Italy as well as prescription costs and any other treatments. If you are still in need of medical care of any kind once back in the UK including any physiotherapy or counselling costs for example, you should include these as well.
- Travel Expenses (Special Damages) – If you have had stay longer than intended in Italy due to being unfit to travel and therefore had to arrange extra flights back to the UK at a later date, you can re-claim the cost of these. Any travel costs to and fro medical appointments or any other appointment that is directly to do with your injury or illness can be re-claimed.
If your injury is severe and you need special adaptions made to your vehicle once back in the UK to accommodate you, the costs for this can also be included under travel expenses.
- Loss of Income(Special Damages) – Any income lost, or future income to be lost can be included in the claim.
- Loss of Benefits (Special Damages)- If your injury has caused you to miss out of any income related benefits, you can include these in your claim also.
- Care Claim (Special Damages) – If you have needed to pay for carers, or for home help once back in the UK, you can include these costs.
Always keep any receipts for costs that you have incurred as a result of your injury or illness so that these can act as proof of expenses and therefore be re-claimed.
Due to the vast number of different types of accidents, injuries and illnesses that you could suffer from whilst on holiday in Italy, and the fact that everybody and the way they respond to injuries and illnesses is different, we cannot tell you exactly what you could receive in compensation at this point, there are just too many variables in each individual case and unique circumstances.
However, using our accident abroad compensation calculator, extensive personal injury claims knowledge, and information from the Judicial College Guidelines, we can give you an idea of the award amounts given for particular injuries commonly found in Italian holiday accident claims:
|Reason for Claim||Average Award Amount||Comments|
|Digestive Injury Mild to Serious Food Poisoning||£800 - £16,830||The lower amounts for those with sickness and diarrhoea with abdominal discomfort for few days to couple of weeks. The higher amounts are for those with serious short- lived diarrhoea and sickness that lasts (but lessons) over a few weeks with possible on-going problems with stomach discomfort and disturbance of bowel and sexual function.|
|Minor to Moderate Neck Injuries||£2,150 - £33,750||Soft tissue injuries where length of recovery period will determine amount given, rising to severe soft tissue injuries or fractures and dislocations resulting in on-going pain, possible corrective surgery or spinal fusion. The more severe the injury, the higher the compensation amount.|
|Minor - Moderate Back Injury||£2,150 - £34,000||Injuries may range from soft tissue and disk damage, to more severe damage that may need corrective surgery and will result in on-going pain and discomfort and possible disability.|
|Mental Anguish||Up to £4,100||Fear of impending and unexpected death|
|Minor Severe Arm Injury||£5,810 - £114,810||Level of award will depend on severity of the injury, duration of pain and suffering, recovery time, affects to daily life. The higher award in this case is for severe injuries that leave the arm useless and unable to function.|
|Minor Severe Wrist Injury||£3,090 - £52,490||Level of award will depend on severity of the injury, duration of pain and suffering, recovery time, affects to daily life. The higher award in this case is for severe injuries that leave the wrist in permanent disability.|
|Minor Severe Hand Injury||£800 - £54,280||The level of award will depend on whether it is for one or both hands. The top end of the bracket is for where around 50% of the hands capacity is lost. Permanent disability. The lower end will be for simple fractures, soft tissue injuries, cuts and lacerations.|
|Severe Very Severe Hand Injury||£54,280 - £176,660||The higher amount is for total effective loss of use of both hands permanently.|
|Minor Severe Leg Injury||£7,990 - £119,210||The lower end is for simple fractures or breaks where full recovery is expected, rising to higher amounts for serious injury resulting in surgery and permanent disability and on-going pain.|
We haven’t included every injury possible in this table, just the more common ones to show roughly what you could receive, if your injury or illness isn’t listed here, just call Legal Expert and we will be happy to help. Also, it’s worth remembering that these amounts are solely averages and estimations and are only for the injury itself. The other aspects of the claim such as financial losses, still would need to be added.
At Legal Expert, we offer to pursue your compensation claims case under a conditional fee agreement, most people will recognise this as a no win no fee agreement. This gives you the opportunity to have an expert personal injury solicitor conduct your claim on your behalf without the worry of how you will afford to pay the legal fees, or losing money if the case is unsuccessful. With no win no fee, we do not charge any start-up costs, or charge for anything during the process of making the claim. Our fees are always paid at the end of a claims case and only if successful where we would take a small percentage of the awarded amount as our payment of legal fees. If the case was unsuccessful, we do not charge you any fees at all.
Legal Expert has been involved in the personal injury claims industry for a good number of years now and so in that time has gained an enormous amount of experience in successfully claiming compensation for clients, often securing the maximum amounts possible. We have dealt with all sorts of different types of claims, many of which have been for accidents in Italy.
Due to our extensive experience, we know best how to conduct a personal injury claim in Italy and are familiar with the differences in the Legalities in comparison to the UK and so can certainly pursue your claim for you even though we are based in the UK.
We work professionally and efficiently, leaving no stone unturned to make sure that your claims case will hold strong in court. We are honest and reliable and always strive to get the best for you as our client, as we understand that you have already suffered a great deal and we want to help you to get the compensation you deserve for your pain and suffering.
Staring your claim couldn’t be simpler, just call Legal Expert on 0800 073 8804 and after a free consultation where we can gather the facts from you and you can ask us any questions regarding making your claim, we will do the rest.
This link leads to the NHS information guide regarding accessing healthcare in Italy.
The EHIC (European Health Insurance Card) is used among European countries to access healthcare and this link leads to the UK Government site where you can apply for one or find more information.
This link leads to the UK Government information page for the British Embassy in Rome.
This is another guide from Legal Expert that you may find useful depending on the circumstances of your accident.
Another Legal Expert guide regarding personal injury claims involving accidents or incidents at Lake Garda, Italy.